The arrival of three new astronauts on the International Space Station completes the Expedition 67 crew

The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft approaching the International Space Station (Image NASA TV)
The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft approaching the International Space Station (Image NASA TV)

A few hours ago, the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and after a little more than three hours reached the International Space Station with three new crew members on board. It docked with the Station’s Rassvet module. As is becoming increasingly common for crewed trips as well, the ultra-fast track was used which halves the journey duration.

The three new members of the crew of the International Space Station, who complete the last phase of Expedition 67 are:

Sergey Valeriyevich Prokopyev. Born on February 19, 1975, in Sverdlovsk, in the then USSR, today back to its old name Ekaterinburg, in Russia, he graduated from the Air Force Piloting School Tambov (TWVAUL) in the specialty “Tactical aviation command, air traffic control” in the 1997 and qualified as a “pilot engineer”. From 2002 to 2005 he studied at the State University of Michurinsky, graduating in Accounting, Analysis, and Audit and graduated as an economist. He was selected as a cosmonaut candidate in 2010. He’s married and has a son and a daughter. He previously served on the International Space Station as part of Expedition 56/57 returning to Earth on December 20, 2018.

Dmitriy Aleksandrovich Petelin. Born on July 10, 1983, in Qostanay, in the then USSR and today in Kazakhstan, he graduated in aircraft and helicopter engineering from South Ural State University. He worked for NIK until 2012 when he was selected as a cosmonaut candidate. He’s on his first space mission.

Francisco Carlos “Frank” Rubio. Born on December 11, 1975, in Los Angeles, California, USA, he graduated in international relations from the West Point Military Academy. He holds a Doctorate in Medicine from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. As a helicopter pilot, he participated in various military missions in different countries. He was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 2017. He’s on his first space mission.

Next week, three crew members will return to Earth. This means that there will be more people than usual on the International Space Station for a few days. It’s the reason why the newcomers begin their service as part of Expedition 67, which has been divided into various parts. In the spring of 2022, there was a period of quick turnover for the Station crew and now another one has begun.

Despite international tensions, the collaboration between Russia and the other nations continues at least in part. That’s why Frank Rubio arrived at the International Space Station on the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft and in early October, Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina will arrive at the Station in a Dragon spacecraft. This is not reason enough to be optimistic about the evolution of the conflict but it does mean that there’s still some line of communication and collaboration.

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